FlashFAST has first-day problems

Kristine Gill

When Kory Bishop got ready to register for classes, he didn’t anticipate any difficulties.

“I already know what I have to register for,” said Bishop, a freshman integrated life sciences major. “I made a list so I have it fairly easy compared to other people.”

Twenty minutes later, error messages appeared on the screen and Bishop was registered for only two of his five courses.

“It would be nice if it worked,” he said.

University Registrar Glenn Davis acknowledged there were problems with the university’s new FlashFAST system, which replaced Web for Students. He said his office was busy helping students throughout yesterday.

“We’re working very hard to address the problems that have come up,” he said. The registrar’s office has a call center set up to hear from students encountering problems, which students can reach by calling 330-672-3131.

Brendan Desetti, freshman hospitality management major, said he had no trouble figuring out how to look up classes and navigate the new system. He did encounter some problems when he actually clicked to register.

“There was an error message that said I couldn’t take a certain class because I’m not in the major, but I am in the major so I have to work that out,” he said. “It’s really annoying.”

Desetti heard about the switch to the new system in his First Year Colloquium class and from his college adviser.

Freshman chemistry major Philip King got a sheet on how to register from his adviser. Even with the sheet, he got error messages while registering for his probability and intro to ethics courses.

“When I put those (Course Reference Numbers) in, it said no prerequisite,” he said. “It’s weird because the prerequisite is algebra, and I’m in calculus.”

King met with a math and science adviser to override the problem in the system.

“We eventually figured it out, but I was getting worried,” he said. “It’s still such a hassle.”

Kelly Will, freshman deaf education major, had no trouble registering. She learned how to register through a demo on the registrar’s Web site and had her courses picked out before she registered.

“I was just clicking buttons and there was a demo that was actually helpful,” she said, adding that from there registration was easy.

“It was pretty straightforward and I had no error messages,” she said.

Amanda Hartz, senior art education major, agreed that the new system was easy to use.

“Of course it took me a minute or so to get my bearings, after being used to Web For Students,” she said. “In no time at all, I had looked up the course numbers for the classes I needed and signed up.”

Hartz said the new system was well advertised, too.

“We were very prepared for the switch to FlashFAST,” she said. “I heard about it in several of my classes, and my professors made sure to make us aware of the change ahead of time.”

Despite complaints and error messages, the Honors College has not had as many calls from frustrated students, as it had anticipated.

“We had maybe a dozen calls today,” administrative secretary Judy Yasenosky said. “Most of them have been easy fixes.”

Marnie Sanders, academic program director for the College of Business, said they’re working with students to get them registered.

“It’s a new system, and we’re doing as much as we can to work out the bugs,” she said.

Sanders said there was an advantage to having protected groups register first.

“It’s good to have a smaller population (registering) today,” she said. “The main population won’t start registration until we’ve had a time period to work on this.”

Contact student affairs reporter Kristine Gill at [email protected].